Samsung and Google Develop 3D Audio Technology Competitor for Dolby Atmos

An interview with Samsung's research team has revealed that the tech company is working with Google to create their own 3D audio technology. Although Samsung products currently feature compatibility with Dolby Atmos, their new technology could become a direct competitor.


The new tech is called Immersive Audio Model and Formats, or IAMF, and has just been completed after almost four years of research, and in October 2023, the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) adopted the spatial audio technology. The development team at Samsung expects it to change the the 3D audio industry for a number of reasons.

The most crucial aspect of IAMF is that it is the first open-source spatial audio codec to be released. Samsung and Google wanted to make IAMF accessible and help to create a unified standard across the industry. "By coming together to develop this unprecedented technology, we are paving the way for consumers to enjoy 3D audio in their homes," said JeongHoon Park, the Executive Vice President and head of Visual Technology Team at Samsung Research.

What is IAMF?

IAMF enhances the at-home audio experience in three key ways:

1. The ability to express sound vertically: Just as with Dolby Atmos, IAMF allows listeners to hear audio from above and below, as well as in front, behind, or to either side. This makes the soundscape more immersive and realistic, and helps listeners locate sounds accurately.
2. AI-driven scene analysis: With deep-learning and AI technology, IAMF analyses scenes to emphasise certain aspects for an enhanced viewing experience. By adjusting audio levels, IAMF can balance the sound to help the listener focus on what's important.
3. Customizable audio: With IAMF, users will be able to adjust the audio according to their preferences. They can indicate which aspects of the audio they want to enhance, whether it be dialogue or sound effects.

The Samsung Research team believes that their new tech could "open up a world of audio possibilities". Although the technology has just been released, they're already looking toward future developments, working on a more advanced version of IAMF that could be applied to sectors like mobile devices, video games, and the metaverse.

As IAMF reaches consumers on the market, we'll see how it stacks up to other 3D audio codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS. The team at Samsung hopes to eventually develop technology that can easily be recognized as 'Samsung Sound', and is "optimistic that the IAMF standard is a stepping stone toward this dream."